Hello Picasso

I LOVE these fantastic photos of Picasso playing with light. They were inspired by work by Gjon Mili, who also photographed him here "drawing" with a small flashlight in a dark studio.

Via Cup of Joe and more cool photos from the series on Life's website.

And, they reminded me of a book I've been wanting - Goodbye Picasso by David Douglas Duncan. It's an intimate look at Picasso in his studio and home. The cover is a self-portrait by Picasso of himself as an owl done in ink with a photograph of his eyes collaged in.

From the bookjacket:
"[The book contains a selection of] tens of thousands [of photos] taken during the next seventeen years when David Douglas Duncan often shared the simple meals, the constant work, the gaiety, the countless explosions of creativity.

After other guests had gone, Duncan still remained in the studio — by now his second home. Thus was born a friendship unique in the lives of both men. Two minds, two hearts, each discovering a special communication with the other.

While photographing hundreds of Picasso's paintings, surrounded by myriad other works that overflowed the studio, Duncan also recorded many of the emotion-charged events at the heart of the household."

Picasso sparring with his son Claude.

Picasso and Jacqueline, Picasso showing his dear Lump a plate he has made bearing his portrait.

Picasso at work.

His studio at Villa la Californie, full of his works just propped here and there. Notice Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (image below), 1907, in the background. This shot gives a good sense of how big it is! This photo was taken in 1960-- I didn't realize this painting remained in his private collection that long. It now hangs in the Moma. Or maybe this was a sketch for it? The ground looks much darker than in the image below, but maybe that's just the lighting. Also, I love the textile draped on the rocker by Jacqueline.

His own collection included works by Matisse, Degas, Modiglianis, Cezanne, etc.

A rare posed-looking shot amongst mostly intimate, casual candids. Also, I love that he seems to be shirtless (and/or pantsless) most of the time. The more photos I looked through, the more apparent this became. His total comfort with partial nudity, combined with his often very engaged, active stances, gives him such a vital and alive look, like he was just bursting at the seams with creativity.

Picasso and Jacqueline.

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